Lay It At the Cross

As a toddler, I began doodling and writing.    From the time I could hold a crayon, I would write on any piece of paper in sight.  Needless to say, once I started kindergarten,  (after finishing my assignment of course)… I would draw on the corners of my worksheet; the sun, clouds, smiling faces….typical kid stuff.

The teacher, Mrs. Wilkerson wasn’t nearly as thrilled as I with my artistic creations, telling my mother that I was spending way too much time day-dreaming in class.

Smiling now, I didn’t see it that way…..I was simply making my paper pretty, a letter of sorts to her. 6820724_orig.jpg [Side note: To this day, she was my favorite educator and provides me with such fond memories of my childhood.]

Ok! Back to the subject……

However, as I matured into adulthood, I realized that this was a coping tool for me when I needed to gain perspective on whatever was going on in life.

Most of the time after pouring my heart out onto a blank page, I felt that I was better able to step back and view whatever is/was going on more objectively than my emotions would otherwise allow, yet with NO real plausible solution.

Where am I going with this?

Well, just as recording my thoughts onto paper offers me fresh perspective, I now know that pouring our hearts out to GOD in prayer helps us gain His perspective and remind us of His power in whatever we are facing.

When we’re faced with a situation that brings anxiety, fear, or a deep awareness that getting through it will require more than what we possess, lets not resort to doodling and turning it over in our minds.  Instead, run straight to Jesus.

A great example was provided us in 2 Kings 19: 9-19 .  King Hezekiah, after receiving an unsettling letter from an ominous adversary the Assyrians, whom threatened to destroy Jerusalem, as they had many other nations….placed the letter before the LORD.  He prayerfully called upon God to deliver the people, so that the world would recognize that He alone could deliver them.

“Then[Hezekiah] went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.” 2Kings 19:14

We too, should follow this example.  When we receive unsettling news. Pray, meditate in the word of God, and place whatever problem and or concern at the feet of Jesus. Trusting that He will intercede on our behalf, order our steps, provide a solution, and calm our uneasy hearts, all according to His purpose and plan.

God is our greatest help in times of trouble. He is our Deliverer from every fiery trial and a testimony to the world that He is in control of all things.

 

Advertisements

The Spiritual Journey

LOVE is what we are born with.
Fear is what we learn.
The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear
and prejudices and Image result for spiritual journey
the acceptance of love back in our hearts.
Love is the essential reality
and our purpose on earth.
To be consciously aware of it,
to experience love in ourselves and others,
is the meaning of life.
Meaning does not lie in things.
Meaning lies in us.


~ Marianne Williamson

Bless the Lord

“Bless the Lord, O, my soul” (Ps. ciii. 1).

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me be stirred up to magnify His holy name.images64g41lm8

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Who so well can sing this thanksgiving song as we, rejoicing as most of us do, we trust, in this full salvation, and praising God for the glorious health of a risen Lord and a continual youth?

This psalm and its opening verses is in the very center of the Scriptures by an exact count of letters and verses. So let it stand in our lives, as we look backward and forward and upward in grateful thanksgiving as we sing in its closing strains, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” Lord, center my heart in Thee and in the spirit of love and praise.

 

A.B. Simpson

Don’t Ever…..

Don’t ever be reluctant
to show your feelings
when you’re happy, give in to it…
When you’re not, live with it.

Don’t ever be afraid to try to
make things better
you might be surprised at the results.

Don’t ever take the weight of the world
on your shoulders.

Don’t ever feel threatened by the future
take life one day at a time.

Don’t ever feel guilty about the past
what’s done is done. Learn from any
mistakes you might have made.

Don’t ever feel that you are alone
there is always somebody there for
you to reach out to.

Don’t ever forget that you can achieve
so many of the things you can imagine.
It’s not as hard as it seems.

Don’t ever stop loving
Don’t ever stop believing,
Don’t ever stop Dreaming your Dreams.

Unknown

 

“Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.  I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.  They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.  This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” 

Psalm 34: 3-8

Light of the World-Manna

images

Ye are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14


In order to have the Holy Spirit in large measure, we must keep near to the Lord, for if we get away from him, the light will go out.
If we neglect the privilege of prayer or of study of the Scriptures or of fellowship with the Lord through failure to think of him, the illumination of the Spirit will grow dim.

On the other hand, it will become brighter in proportion to our realization of our own imperfections and to the degree of our consecration to the Lord. This we manifest by the zeal with which we study his will as expressed in his Word, and with which we practice that will in the affairs of life. These are the means by which we may supply the oil to keep our light burning brightly.

Encourage One Another

images0PYL9VFN

There is a reason why many people, including believers in Jesus, have the opinion that many Christians are aloof, unapproachable, and have unchristian behavior patterns. The things that many of them say, as well as the things that they never say, are a reflection of attitudes that are not in line with the heart of Christ. Sadly, this is harming the people of God, especially new believers in Jesus who do not know the Bible well. Because of their lack of Bible knowledge, they might not know when someone is misrepresenting the heart of Christ. There are many who undoubtedly would like to ask some Christians, “Why is it so easy for you to preach the truth to me, citing scripture after scripture, but it is so difficult for you to say something encouraging to me?

Discouraging Words

If we want to be Christians who do the will of the heart of Christ, we will edify the church; we will not discourage her. Every person who has received Jesus as Lord is part of the church.

Let’s focus on the need to learn what it means to love our brethren who are going through difficult times, tribulation, and the fiery trial of their faith. Following are some examples of the insensitive comments and statements that many Christians make in response to the suffering and the problems of their brethren in the faith. Take note of the words that are said, as well as those that are NOT said. And, compare the insensitive “Christian” responses with biblical responses that indeed do reflect the heart of Christ.

1. Should Christians who live in countries where they don’t suffer persecution for their faith in Jesus say to the martyrs: “Stand strong. You shouldn’t be sad because the Lord is our joy. You have to dress in the armor of God. That’s how we stand.” Although these words are true, they do not reflect the heart of Christ that is revealed when we read, “…Weep with them that weep” (Romans 12:15). “Bear ye one another’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2).

2. Is it okay for those who have parents that love them to say to the orphan who wants a father and mother: “Orphan, you shouldn’t be sad. Having parents is not what makes you happy in life. The Lord will be your Father and will take better care of you than a mother. The heart of Christ says, “I understand that you want a stable home and parents that love you. I join your prayers for God to grant your desire as there’s nothing wrong or abnormal in your desire. We read, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…” (James 1:27).

3. Is it okay for those who can walk to say to the person in a wheel chair: “Being able to walk will not make you happy. The only thing we need is a relationship with the Lord to be happy. But, the apostles Peter and John, who had the heart of Christ, did not give such an insensitive response to the man who was born lame. We read, “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer…. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate…. Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold I have none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up. And, immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:1-9). Finally, that man could enjoy what so many people take for granted.

4. Should women who are mothers say to women who are barren: “You shouldn’t be sad. Having children will not make you happy in life. You can have many spiritual children through your service to the Lord.” Does the heart of Christ give such a callous response to the desires of others? No, it does not. We read, “And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And she (Hannah) was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. …And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel…. For this child I prayed (said Hannah). And the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:6,10,19,20,27).

5. Is it right for married Christians to say to their single brothers and sisters: “You shouldn’t be sad. Having a husband or wife is not what makes you happy. The Lord is your joy. Do we forget how the heart of Christ responded to the desire of Hannah to have a child? The Lord did not make light of her desire. Why should Christians make light of the desires as well as the tribulations of their brethren in the Lord? If the only joy we need is the joy of the Lord, why did the Lord himself tell us to ask our petitions in his name that our joy may be FULL (St. John 16:24)?

6. Is is right for young Christians to tell the elderly believers who languish away in nursing homes: “You need not be sad, because you have the Lord. He is your friend and faithful companion.” What an insensitive and ugly response that does not reflect the caring heart of Christ. The Lord is the one who put the desire for friendship, as well as other desires, in man. He wants those desires satisfied, which is why he does not make light of them.

7. Is it right for those who have their freedom to tell our brethren imprisoned for their faith, as well as the innocent in prison: “Don’t be sad. If you are truly saved, Jesus is right there in prison with you. If these insensitive words truly reflected the heart of Christ, why then did Jesus say that when we visit our brethren in prisons it is the same as visiting him in prison (Matthew 25:31-46)?

8. Should gentile Christians, not having been subjected to the partial spiritual blindness that has happened to Israel, say things like: “The evidence that Christ is your Messiah and Savior of the world is as clear as can be, but you don’t see it. What’s wrong with you? The heart of Christ tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. True peace is Jesus. Do we love Christ, but not the people from which he came according to the flesh?

This list could go on and on. The idea is to keep in mind that when our brethren in the Lord are going through hardships, some of them are fighting the good fight of faith. The heart of Christ tells us to encourage, edify, and pray for them instead of making light of their troubles and their desires.

We are not told to send them negative messages that say that because they are depressed for a while that they are weak, abnormal, or don’t really know the Lord.

The Saints Experienced Great Depression

“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8).

And, we read, “…Though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1: 6-7).

Let Us Not Be Like Job’s “Friends”

The insensitive words that come out of our mouth as well as the encouraging words that we do NOT speak send messages, sometimes very negative ones. Saying things like, “You don’t need this or that to be happy. Let the Lord be your joy,” amounts to taking a “holier than thou” attitude. It can be perceived as saying, “Were I in your shoes, I’d be strong in the Lord. I’d know how to “hide” myself in Jesus.”

Let’s not forget that the so-called friends of Job got into much trouble because of the words they spoke to a suffering servant of the Lord. They spoke words that did not come from the comforting heart of Christ. They provoked the anger of God (Job 42:7).

The apostle Paul defines true Christian love. We read, “Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned (sacrificed), and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind. Charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth…” (1 Corinthians 13:1-6). Love is the heart of Christ.

Heavenly Manna